Helen Hunt was ready to chase tornadoes once again in a sequel to her 1996 disaster movie hit, TWISTER, but the idea she pitched had her character Dr. Jo Harding being killed off in the opening scene, put Hunt in the director’s chair, and featured a cast of “all Black and Brown storm chasers.”
While promoting her upcoming role in the Starz series Blindspotting, Hunt spoke with “Collider” and revealed that she has found it difficult to get studios to meet with her to discuss her idea for a sequel to Twister. Hunt wanted to direct the film with a script from herself, along with Blindspotting producers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. Hunt would kill off her character of Dr. Jo Harding early on so she could focus on directing the film and she really wanted a film that featured “all Black and Brown storm chasers.” According to Hunt, she has barely been able to get a meeting about the idea:
“I tried to get it made. With Daveed [Diggs] and Rafael [Casal] and me writing it, and all Black and brown storm chasers, and they wouldn’t do it. I was going to direct it. We could barely get a meeting, and this is in June of 2020 when it was all about diversity. It would have been so cool.”
Hunt also revealed in the interview that she would have liked to return for the sequel as an “elder, tired, haggard” version of her character. She also says by killing her character off early on, it would allow the rest of the cast to shine while Hunt put all of her focus into her work behind the camera. I give her points for effort but it seems like the idea is not the popcorn entertainment that the studio was looking for.
In June of 2020, news broke that a Twister reboot was in development from Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski. There hasn’t been much movement with the project, at least publicly, since that announcement but I’d imagine that the concept is still in the development process. It’s also interesting that the reboot was reported in June of 2020 and Hunt makes a reference to pitching her idea for a sequel around the same time.
Twister was released in 1996 and was directed by Jan de Bont with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. The film follows a group of daring storm chasers led by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, who play exes that are thrown together again as they try to deploy a meteorological research device during an F5 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. Twister ushered in a new era of disaster films and ultimately grossed $495 million at the worldwide box office, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 1996 behind Independence Day.
What are YOUR thoughts on Helen Hunt’s idea for a Twister sequel?